The picture above is "Blood Brothers" , the first three yearling sons of our breed record selling ram, the $2000 High Road 0085.This picture won Grand Prize for best Eastern Landscape with sheep in the American Sheep Industry magazine and was also cover picture on the North Country breed handbook. The ram on left sold to Susan Davies in Maryland, and was Reserve National Champion ram in 2013 . In the middle was "TANK" a great stud ram for us. The ram on right sold to Amy O'Donnell, Ebensburg, PA
WELCOME TO OUR WEBSITE
Welcome to our website. We have greatly reduced our sheep program, but hope to maintain a more manageable flock of North Country Cheviots. The Suffolks are gone including the stud rams. I will miss them all, but have probably made the right move to cut back, especially considering my advanced vintage.
The coyotes were the primary scourge of the original operation, but with fewer sheep, more effective guard dogs and better management, I hope we can provide this fine breed a better chance to express itself.
This new site replaces the old one which was on an outdated system. The previous one included 1700 photographs, so it is reasonable to suppose this one will be less extravagant. I will try to reduce the content since the last version was probably overkill.
Pictured above is Highland Trooper, our longtime stud ram, and truly the authentic Scottish kind. Full of red meat, with the girth and capacity to thrive on grass. (I had a South Dakota sheepman tell me he thought that was the best ram picture he ever saw. Whether he was referring to the quality of the ram, or the picture, I was flattered.)
Our sheep run on the Jim Bowen farm south of Hot Springs, Virginia. The farm is rented by John Mitchell to run cattle. I was privileged to work with John's fine cattle operation for eight years, and am indebted to both gentlemen for allowing me to run the flock on such a quality pasture farm
We are blessed to have enjoyed our sheep, cattle, dogs and all the fine folks from near and far, whose fellowship and friendship we have treasured over the years. We certainly never got rich but I have been blessed to have spent my life in such good company, doing what I enjoyed.
I have often remarked that lambing or calving time is like opening Christmas presents. I consider the opportunity to breed animals a rare privilege, and one deserving of wise judgement and integrity in return.
We welcome your visit .
CURRENT STUD RAM - HIGH ROAD GENETICS ON BOTH SIDES. BRED BY JOE NEIL, MCDOWELL ,VA.
NORTH COUNTRY BREED RECORD HOLDER
HIGH ROAD 0085
THIS RAM WAS SUPREME OVER ALL BREEDS AT THE WEST VIRGINIA PUREBRED SALE, PETERSBURG, 2012. THE FIRST NORTH COUNTRY CHEVIOT EVER TO WIN THAT HONOR. A YEARLING, HE TOPPED THE SALE AT $2000, SETTING THE U.S. RECORD FOR THE BREED. HIS FIRST SON WAS RESERVE NATIONAL CHAMPION RAM IN 2013 FOR SUSAN DAVIES. JULIE TOOK THE PICTURE SO I COULD SHOWBOAT.
THE PURCHASER WAS TERRY WOODS, CRIDERS, VA WHOSE SHEEP OPERATION IS ALL COMMERCIAL, NO PUREBRED EWES. TERRY HAS BEEN A GOOD CUSTOMER OVER THE YEARS.
PICTURED WITH JUDGE BRAD KKASLER FRON OHIO, MACQUEEN AND ROBBIE McNABB HOLDING. I HVE BEEN VERY FORTUNATE IN BEING ABLE TO HAVE ROBBIE HANDLE OUR SHOW AND SALE SHEEP. ROBBIE HAILS FROM OUR OLD HOME COUNTY IN WEST VIRGINIA , AND IS A VERY PROFESSIONAL SHEEP SHOWMAN. I KNEW HIS DAD WELL. BOB SADLY DIED MUCH TOO YOUNG AND WAS A GOOD SHEEP MAN LIKE HIS SON.
This was the youngest ram at the 2011 Virginia Ram Lamb Performance test. He failed to pass the semen test and was thus ineligible to sell in the sale. I thought the ram had better days ahead, and elected to keep him over for a yearling.
His fertility was lacking due to his age, and he subsequently bred extensively. I lent him as a lamb to Steve McHale to breed 5 Chieftain daughters I sold him that fall, and the lambs that resulted made a splash as is mentioned elsewhere in this site.
I took this picture long ago in Caithness, Scotland on my grandfather's farm, in 1955 to be exact. Pictured on right was Noss Champion, my grandfather's undefeated stud ram with his yearling son Remiggy Style on left. The picture was taken the day before they went to the Thurso Ram Sale where Noss Champion won for the final time as a three year old. He and 6 of his sons were the high average flock group in the sale..
The wool was darkened with burnt umber, and the head and legs whitened with zinc oxide. The rams had a lot of wool, making them even more massive. The picture is pretty fuzzy, taken with cheap equipment, but I always liked the shot which really shows what a powerful sheep the old ram was.
MY HISTORY WITH NORTH COUNTRY SHEEP IS COVERED IN MORE DETAIL ON A PAGE WITH THAT TITLE LATER IN THE SITE UNDER "MORE"
ON GUARD KENNY and JILL
WE ABSOLUTELY CANNOT RAISE SHEEP IN THIS AREA WITHOUT GUARD DOGS ON DUTY. OUR PRIMARY PREDATORS ARE COYOTES, BUT WE ALSO HAVE BEAR, AND SOME SAY BIG CATS LIKE MOUNTAIN LION OR PANTHER. THE AUTHOROTIES ASSURE US THERE ARE NO BIG CATS, BUT WE KNOW FOKS WHO HAVE PICTURES OF THEM ON THEIR GAME CAMERAS. THE GUARD DOGS STAY AROUND THE SHEEP 24/7 AND ARE ON PATROL THROUGH THE NIGHT.
KENNY (BEHIND) IS A TWO YEAR OLD MALE KARAKACHAN (BULGARIAN SHEPHERD DOG) THIS IS A RARE BREED INPORTED TO VIRGINIA BY DR. SPONNENBERG FROM VIRGINIA TECH WHO FEARED THE BREED WAS FACING EXTINCTION IN BULGARIA. KENNY IS BIG AND STILL GROWING. HE PROBABLY WEIGHS AROUND 120 LLBS. HE WAS BORN IN GREENBRIER COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA WHICH BORDERS US.
JILL IS A GREAT PYRENEES ALSO FROM GREENBRIER COUNTY, BRED BY DAVID CHILDERS, HER ANCESTORS INCLUDE DOGS FROM KIRK WALTON, DEFINITELY ONE OF MY BETTER SOCCER PLAYERS FROM MY COACHING DAYS LONG AGO.
WE PRODUCE A CALENDAR EVERY YEAR FOR FAMILY AND A FEW FRIENDS, SO HERE ARE KENNY AND JILL POSING FOR THE NEW CALENDAR. THEY DID A GOOD JOB WITH THE SETUP. KENNY WAS NAMED AFTER MY FAVORITE FOOTBALL PLAYER, THE LATE GREAT KEN STABLER, "THE SNAKE", HALL OF FAME QUARTERBACK, OAKLAND RAISERS IN THE 1970'S.